Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Befriend your Competitors?

This idead was posted by Tom Kane at his blog and it is worth a read:

"I haven’t given much thought to befriending a competitor until I read an article on" the Inc.com blog which was titled "Let's be Friends" and can be found here.

Kane posted: "The more I thought about it, the more I realized that law firm competitors can and are sources of work for one another. It may come about as a result of conflicts, or not wanting a certain type of work, or being too busy or whatever. So, my new marketing suggestion: befriend everyone, including the competition."

Have you befriended a competitor? Attorney Andy Childers in Atlanta has a firm that advertises (as does my firm) and has a well done web site. In the purest sense, he is a competitor, since we're seeking the same type of client. We also work together on projects. In several instances, my office has referred to him certain cases to file suit on in metro Atlanta. In several instances, he has let me review a potential case to handle. While we compete, he is someone I consider a friend.

We're not alone. A recent meeting I attended had two attorneys who spend more than $2 million dollars a year advertising in the same city per firm present. They advertise in the same market, file cases in the same courthouses, and often use the same experts. Guess what? They send cases to each other. Even more interesting? They meet once a week to talk about the profession, exchange ideas, refer cases, and talk shop. Will they merge? Never. Will they make money? Probably.

Befriend everyone, even competitors. Thanks, Mr. Kane.